Working Papers (8)
Building a State Government Digital Preservation Community:Lessons on Interorganizational Collaboration
As a part of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), the Library of Congress sponsored a series of collaborative workshops between April and May 2005 to help state governments identify their needs and priorities for digital preservation. During these workshops, state and territory representatives showed strong interest in fostering partnership efforts and collaborative strategies toward preserving state government digital information. Based on the findings of the workshops and previous efforts on digital preservation, this paper discusses the challenges and opportunities regarding interorganizational collaboration and community building for digital preservation of state government information.
Fostering Innovation in Electronic Government:Benefits and Challenges of XML for Web Site Management
As government Web sites have grown in size, complexity, and prominence, Web site management, content management, maintenance costs, and accessibility have become growing concerns for federal, state and local governments. Government agencies are losing the ability to be responsive and flexible in providing new information and services and the costs of maintaining these Web sites have become prohibitive. Government webmasters and system administrators have come to realize that the technologies and strategies used in the past to build most Web sites are designed to produce individual Web pages. They do not provide a structure to easily maintain entire Web sites, keep them responsive to changing needs, or manage the workflow involved in Web content production and maintenance; nor do they facilitate the sharing and reuse of Web site content. This paper examines the potential of XML for Web site content management in government settings. Five state government agency teams were selected, looking for a mixture of several aspects such as technological expertise, organizational capabilities, agency size, and institutional environment. The study uses multiple research methods such as semi-structured interviews, surveys, and analysis of relevant documents to explore the benefits and challenges of using XML for Web site content management in government agencies. Overall, participants identified information consistency, reduction of data and content duplication, and compatibility with new devices and formats as the main benefits. Organizational and individual resistance to change, multiple and different priorities, and unrealistic goals were identified as the most important barriers. The paper also reports some differences in perceptions between technical and program staff.
Governments around the world are increasingly turning to information sharing and integration to help solve problems in a wide range of programs and policy areas. These complex interorganizational efforts face not only the technical challenges of many information technology initiatives, but also the difficulties derived from interacting among multiple and diverse organizations. Trust has been identified as one the most important organizational factors for cross-boundary information sharing and integration. However, more research is needed regarding the determinants of trust building in this multi-organizational contexts. This paper highlights the relevant role of trust in cross-boundary information sharing initiatives and provides evidence about three of its most important determinants.
The issue of organizational capability is central to virtually all efforts to improve government performance, particularly in the area of information technology innovation. Capability assessment can play an important role in the digital government domain in at least two ways: one is to provide a basis for judging whether agencies are ready to initiate some digital government innovation, and the other is to judge the impact of a digital government initiative in terms of improved capabilities. Data on capabilities targeted by digital government initiatives can provide both baseline measurements and evidence of subsequent improvements. As part of its research and development on several digital government projects, the Center for Technology in Government (CTG) has developed an approach to capability assessment, resulting in specific assessment toolkits for use in different types of digital government initiatives. This paper describes the approach used in developing these toolkits generally, with an example from one version intended for use in justice information integration projects. The paper includes the theoretical rationale for the design of the toolkits, methods for their use, and implications for use in practice.
Policy makers and public managers want and need to know how well government programs perform, but few have the information to accurately and continuously evaluate them. The dynamic nature of public programs, and the traditional methods used to assess them, compound this problem. Performance measurement and performance-based decisions can be improved by more sophisticated information systems designed for to support analysis and decision making. However, such systems demand close and continuing involvement of program staff, attention to programmatic context, and much better understanding of business processes and the data they generate. Through the use of a case example, the prototype Homeless Information Management System, this paper highlights how attention to these issues can lead to useful and usable performance analysis and evaluation systems.
Interorganizational networks are increasingly the subject of both theoretical and empirical research in sociology, economics, organizational behavior, and public and business management. While the most common network concepts and studies have focused on multi-organizational forms of production, “network” has also emerged as a way to describe how organizations share and integrate knowledge and information. This paper focuses on a type of network that is increasingly important in public affairs, but largely unaccounted for in the extant literature – the public sector knowledge network. The paper synthesizes and augments the exiting literature to include public sector knowledge networks. It then identifies performance measures that can be used to evaluate them at the network, organizational, and individual levels of analysis and identifies critical success factors that pertain to each level.
The purpose of this study was to assess the publishing patterns of digital government (DG) research in top scholarly journals in the fields of public administration (PA), public policy (PP), and management information systems (MIS) within the last five years (See Table 1). DG research was published in nine of the twelve top journals in these fields since 1999. A total of 114 DG articles were identified, representing approximately 4.9 percent of the total number of articles published in these journals between 1999 and 2003. It seems that the top journals have published DG research in limited ways given public and media attention and increased funding opportunities to conduct e-government research.
New models of collaboration for delivering e-government services: A dynamic model drawn from multi-national research
This paper presents a conceptual model of how organizations collaborate to deliver electronic public services. The model is derived from a comparative study of 12 e-government collaborations in Canada, the US, and Europe that involved various combinations of public, private, and nonprofit organizations pursuing a variety of service objectives. The study draws on the literature of interorganizational relations, as well as management information systems, public management, and organizational behavior to devise a preliminary model of how such collaborations form and operate. The case study data are then compared to the preliminary model and a revised, more dynamic model is presented. The revised model more closely fits the case experiences across various service types, project structures, and national settings.